We’ve noticed a decline in our mother’s cognitive ability. What can we do now?
When loved ones begin to decline, it is important to talk as a family about the following issues.
- Could it be Alzheimer’s Disease?
- Has testing been done to determine a diagnosis and the stage of her illness?
- Does the illness run a predictable course?
- Can medications help? Who will make sure that Mom takes her medicine?
- What type of care is really needed?
- Can Mom still manage many of her activities and household chores?
- Does she need some help and what kind? Many options are available, from some supervision to full-time memory support.
- Are there possible residential options?
- Is Mom best off remaining in her own apartment?
- Would living in a senior community help her feel less isolated?
- Is it possible she’ll need assisted living or skilled care?
- What is the average cost of hiring a caregiver?
- Does Medicare or Long Term Care Insurance help; how much for a higher level of care later on?
- Does Mom have enough assets to cover all these expenses?
- Can the family help out?
- Family member tasks
- Is there something that each of the grown children can do to help with Mom’s care?
- What about distant family members?
- Managing all the changes
- Memory loss can be difficult and sorrowful for family members.
- What is the best way to show support for your Mom and for one another?
Some of these discussions may be difficult and emotional. You may find that you need help with looking at all aspects of planning. Professional care managers from Your Eldercare Consultants can help guide your thinking. They understand cognitive changes, the costs of care, how to find help and all the best practices.
Your Eldercare Consultants offer one-time consultations or ongoing support for families in transition. Call 773.508.1015 or visit YourEldercareConsultants.com .
This article originally appeared in the Winter 2013-2014 issue of LIFE, CJE SeniorLife's quarterly magazine.